Henn Architekten's Urban Planning Museum opens in Nantong with dynamic facade
Near the mouth of the Yangtze River lies the burgeoning industrial city of Nantong. With the location falling prey to harsh sunlight, the architects of the newly-opened Nantong Urban Planning Museum had to take a creative approach to ensure that the varied building users were shaded or illuminated enough for their different needs.
Whilst the distinguishing façade panels may seem an aesthetically attractive feature, they are highly functional and enable a controlled regulation of sunlight in fine increments. The main volume of the Museum is a cantilever which hangs over a glass pedestal.
Within this great space are the central exhibition space, offices and conference rooms whilst the special exhibition display areas, café and bookstore are confined to the glass base.
HENN Architekten explain of their design: “Its distinctive façade is composed of two layers: the inner which thermally seals the building envelope, and the outer, a reticulated metal structure with a gradient of varied panels. The façade’s diamond-shaped diagrid is comprised of seven different panels that allow for varying degrees of opening from 9%-60%.”
The exhibition spaces in the 16m floating form benefit from a reduced amount of sunlight which penetrates through small openings while the office areas are bathed in light from the maximum-level panels. The building was officially opened with a joyous ceremony in October 2012.